Speed Reads

Fish in Water

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, 77, begins mandated community service at a retirement home

CC by: CuiPix

Perpetually tanned, suspiciously unwrinkled former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi began his yearlong mandated community service on Friday. Berlusconi, 77, is serving his sentence for massive tax fraud, handed down by a court last year. He chose community service over house arrest so he could campaign for his Forza Italia party before upcoming European Parliament elections. He avoided jail time because of his age. His community service is at an old people's home in the town of Cesano Boscone.

Some people might celebrate having their four-year jail sentence reduced to four hours a week of community service. Berlusconi has called it "ridiculous." There's some disagreement about what he'll do at the care facility, some of whose residents have Alzheimer's disease. The one-time cruise ship lounge singer says he'll "entertain" his elderly charges; the center's director says Berlusconi will be treated like other assistant, with no "fun or relaxing activities."